Abu Dhabi Financial Group Invests In US VC Firm 500 Startups Look out Silicon Valley, MENA is looking to increase its footprint.
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In a move indicating its readiness to grow its portfolio, Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG), which manages more than US$6 billion in assets, has invested in US-based venture capital firm 500 Startups. Though details of the deal are undisclosed, ADFG stated in a release that it had made a "significant investment" in the VC firm to "accelerate 500's key initiatives, expand to new markets and anchor future global funds."
Commenting on the investment, Jassim Alseddiqi, CEO of ADFG, said in a statement: "For ADFG, this is a groundbreaking investment, because 500's global footprint and reach is incomparable. More than just a VC firm, 500 gains access to deals in global markets that many traditional VCs do not." The investment also aligns with ADFG's tech initiatives too- ADFG has built Algorythma (its own tech platform focused on developing new tech products) and Krypto Labs (its incubator and co-working space supporting early-stage startups). With the investment in 500, Dr. Saleh Al Hashemi, CEO of Algorythma, will also join 500's board of officers.
500 Startups Founding Partner and CEO Christine Tsai noted that the investment builds on past partnerships, as ADFG was a limited partner in 500 Startups' previous funds too. "After accomplishing all that we have in just eight short years via organic growth, we are excited to take 500 to the next level," Tsai said. "I am proud to be working even more closely with ADFG to help accelerate 500's future growth, invest in more promising companies, and further achieve our mission as one of the most active VC firms in the world."
500 Startups, which manages over $400 million in capital, has invested in over 60 countries and more than 2,000 companies including Canva, Grab, Udemy, Carousell and Twilio, as well as notable MENA startups such as Tamatem, Eventtus, Moneyfellows, Nestrom and Enhance. Besides providing seed capital, the firm also supports startups through its Seed Programs in San Francisco and Mexico City, plus its Series A Program globally, including its MENA Dojo Series A Program catering to startups from the Middle East.